Do sleep studies monitor night terrors or nightmares?

This question was asked in Millers, Virginia on 07/23/2012.
Do sleep studies monitor crazy dreams and night terrors/nightmares?

Doctors Answers (3)

Syed Nabi, M.D.
Answered on: 7/25/2012

No. Sleep studies monitor different stages of sleep including awake,s tage 1, 2, 3, and REM. If there is a behavior noted during sleep, such as sleep walking it is usually video recorded.

J. Douglas Hudson, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 7/24/2012

Subjects with night terrors or nightmares often undergo sleep studies to help determine which stage of sleep the problem occurs. Unfortunately, like a lot of events that occur in a periodic fashion, the patient often does not exhibit their night terrors during a sleep study. The content of the terror or nightmare is not monitored so unless the subject vocalizes something related their terror or dream there is no way to determine the content of the dream or triggering mechanism. There is treatment for both disorders.

Richard J. Schumann Jr., MD
Answered on: 7/24/2012

Sleep studies can characterize night terrors usually a NREM parasomnia in the early part of the sleep cycle from Nightmares usually a REM phenomenon towards the end of the sleep cycle. They can also help differentiate these from nocturnal seizures or REM sleep behaviour disorders.